Wednesday, December 7, 2016.
Author : Bishop Julius Okarike
Verse Of The Day : When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”- Acts 22 : 17 – 21. (NET).
LISTEN : Our failure to seek the will of God at all times will jeopardise our future. Our refusal to heed the LORD’s voice is often the cause of countless troubles that people go through. (See 1 Samuel 15 : 22 – 23 ; Proverbs 3 : 5). Those who reject the direction of God will wallow in irrecoverable misery and frustration. To go ahead of God is to be prepared to miss the way. To choose your own path against God’s instructions is to head for doom. Those who choose not to listen to God will have both their ears deafened and their hearts hardened for destruction. There is no wisdom in walking outside the will of God. To walk outside the will of God is to lack direction. Beloved, are you a career person, a business person, a minister of the gospel, etc, you need to always listen to the voice of the LORD. Hitherto, God is still speaking to His people. He speaks to us through dreams, trance, impressions in our hearts, revelations, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of people often pretend not to receive any divine information from Him; as a result, they foolhardily proceed with their own plans.
In our verse of the day, we read about Paul’s encounter with the glorified Jesus Christ concerning the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Shortly after his conversion on his way to Damascus, he returned to Jerusalem to his people with the hope to share his encounter with Christ and His gospel with his people; and to win them over to Christ. Sadly, his expectation was greeted with huge disappointment. For the Lord told him ahead of time how his people will react. The bible said this about Paul’s encounter with the Lord, ” When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” (Acts 22 : 17 – 21). Like Apostle Paul, a lot of us still present arguments on why it should be on our own terms. Paul argued to convince God why his people the Jews should listen to his testimony – because he had been an ardent loyalist of Judaism. He believed that they will not doubt his claims of encounter with Christ. However, God who knows the heart of man and what is best for us instructed him otherwise. Beloved, it does not matter how, or what you feel, always listen to God before your next line of action.
Having read today’s devotional, what is expected of you?
1. Learn to depend on God for direction no matter what.
2. Do not resist the leading of the Holy Spirit even when His instructions does not make sense to you.
3. Do not take dreams, trance, or revelations lightly; rather pray at all times for divine direction and interpretation concerning them.
4. No matter the size of your plan Never execute them without letting God know about it.
Daily Task : Always learn to listen to God before you carry out your plans. Never assume to know the right steps to take, just lean on Him and not on your own understanding.
Daily Reflection : Anyone who feels that waiting for God’s timely direction is a waste of time and undue delay, should be prepared to spend his life in regret and anguish.
Prayer : Everlasting Father, thank you for your word today, cause me to always listen to you before proceeding with my plans in Jesus’ name, amen.
Daily Prophetic Declaration : Today, I prophesy over your life, may God open your eyes to see mysteries, and your heart to conceive and retain wisdom for a better future in Jesus’ name.